Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Friday, February 28, 2014

February 28, 2014

Today is the last day of February - and the year is zipping on by. Not a great deal happened today, and it was Jason's first full day at the house, away from the hospital. About the only real thing of notoriety that happened was that the railing we were to have installed on his bed, did show up. Of course, it wasn't what we had expected, and after the technician showed it to us we realized it wasn't going to work. The other problem with it was that not all the pieces were there. I discussed the issue with the tech, and he said he would bring another piece of equipment, that he felt would better support the needs, and take the rail system back to his shop.

A few minor problems with the wound vacs, but in general they are working as they should be. When we go into the hospital on Monday I will be talking with the doctors to see what they have to say about how effective they have, or have not, been.  The rain has been coming down pretty good, and we're all glad that it is here, that is except for Gracie. First time she had to go outside she was reluctant to go, but then nature took over and she HAD to get outside. Tomorrow should be another relaxed day, and we'll be taking care of some chores around the house. Linda has been going through a bunch of stuff and getting things better organized, and I am very appreciative of that. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

February 27, 2014

Turned into a great day, despite the rain... well, on the other hand maybe the rain just made it that much better (we need more rain). Linda and I woke up in the house with no one else there, except for Gracie the dog. It kind of felt strange, though I had thought about it before going to bed the previous evening. We were able to sleep in until nearly 08:00, though we didn't get to bed until way after midnight.

I fixed a quick breakfast and then headed off to go see Jason. Linda stayed back to work on the house, to make sure everything, or as much as possible, was ready for Jason's arrival. When I got to Jason's room he was resting and waiting to hear what was going on. We had been told the night before, that we were to be leaving today so we expected to be leaving. After talking with the doctors and nurses, and going over a few medical exercises Jason and I were finally told that, yes, in fact Jason would be leaving the hospital. Of course the time still wasn't solidly set, but it would be around 14:00 (2pm), and it was now just after noon.

A few of the folks in the hospital came by, for a nice visit, and there were also a few "classes" where I was being instructed on what I would be doing, over these next six weeks. I am now giving Jason his lovenox shots, as well as his testosterone shot. I still have a small wound dressing to take care of, and now the wound vacuums to monitor. He needs to remain on his left side as much as possible, and can be on his back for up to 45 minutes a day, broken into 15 minute segments. These are actually relatively minor, considering the benefits of what has happened, for Jason. Jason will also be going back into the hospital, on a weekly basis, with his first return to happen on Monday.

Jason's transportation is going to be an ambulance, and they are already scheduled to come pick him up on next Monday. He will be going back into the hospital at least once a week, and maybe more, as the days go on. How often he goes in is dependent on the progress of his healing. Tomorrow should be a very nice and productive day, and the beginning of a new cycle for Jason. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

February 26, 2014

It has been a long day and Jason is still in the hospital - though it looks like he will be coming home tomorrow. The hold up is a single piece of equipment that they are having some difficulties in acquiring. It has a specific purpose, primarily the purpose of keeping Jason safe and secure on the bed. If he were to slip and fall off the bed he could be critically injured right now. I spoke with the doctor and we have come up with an agreed upon plan where the railing won't be required, though it would still be preferred.

Linda and I did get a chance to go visit some property, where Jason might have a home built for him. We are working with the Gary Sinise Foundation, and they have committed to building him a home that he will be able to not only get around in comfortably; he will be able to do just about anything he would want too. There is still much to do, and no building has begun, but it does seem very promising.

As I said, Jason is supposed to be coming home tomorrow and it is getting late, so I need to get some sleep. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

February 25, 2014

Today started out a little better than yesterday, and we were able to get Stacy off to school at almost exactly 08:00. While I walked Stacy to school, Linda stayed back and helped Jackie to get ready, and when I returned we all headed off for Jackie's stay with the Child Development Center (CDC) at Balboa. Maybe that is one of the blessings of being with the girls, and getting the opportunity to see, again, just what it is like to watch children grow, only in this case our granddaughters.

We went up to visit with Jason, for a little while, and while we were there we spoke with a few people, trying to figure out just what was going on with his case manager being out. After a few conversations, and going over to see an old friend at C5, we were able to get a few things cleared up. I even made sure there was a good focus on Jason's dressing change, as it seemed like it could have been done better. Later in the day I did get the chance to speak with his doctor, and he said that there was no medical reason that Jason couldn't go home, and that about the only thing holding it up was knowing that the environment at the house was ready for him. It looks like we will have everything together tomorrow, and then Jason will be home. This will be a big plus for him, as well as us. He will be able to relax better, and we won't be spending the precious time, traveling back and forth to and from the hospital (seems like each time we go there is some type of problem on the freeway and we get delayed, one direction or the other).

I let Linda stay back at the house, since her leg was bothering her a bit and I didn't want to aggravate it. I went to pick up Stacy first and then over to get Jackie. Once they were with me we headed over to visit with Jason. It seems they are staying up on his meds and he is feeling more comfortable. There are still some challenges with his wound dressings, but that will get better, as we go along. My feeling is that Jason will benefit from this surgery, and all these recovery challenges will be worth it. Thank you, for all the continued prayers, and take care and stay positive.

Monday, February 24, 2014

February 24, 2014

We had to get moving kind of early today, not because of Jason's schedule, but because Stacy needed to get over to the school, so she could be "tested" for going into Kindergarten. All of those who work with her say she is ready, and the testing is just a formality. None-the-less, Stacy was a little excited and nervous about going and asked Grandma (Linda) to go with her. Fortunately, the other teachers jumped in quickly on this one and let Stacy know that she would have to go in for the testing on her own. No results from the testing when we picked her up today, and like everyone else, I'm really not too concerned about how she did, as I am confident she scored well.

We also took Jackie to her pre-school and then went over to see Jason. He was doing much better and you can really tell that the meds he is working with are getting him to a nice balance, again, and he is able to relax a bit. The biggest challenge is that his position keeps him on his left side for most of the day (like about 95% or a little more). Jason was able to get in touch with his new Realtor, out in North Carolina, about getting rid of his house out there. Apparently the previous one was taking his money and only doing a halfhearted effort of getting repairs in place, and the house really needs to get a few things done. Because it is being done at a long distance, there is difficulty in really knowing what is going on, since he hasn't been there is a few years. Many of the people he knew back there are now gone, so it isn't like the same situation as Linda and I have back in Livermore. I am so glad to have friends who are willing to go way out of their way to help, Linda and I would probably go nuts trying to get things done otherwise.

We went in this evening, to visit with Jason and he was still doing okay, though he was having a bit of a pain issue. He called for more pain meds, and for whatever reason the nurses were slow to respond. I went out and talked to the them and it looked like they were acting on the request. I say it that way because Linda and I were leaving with the girls when I went out, and needed to get them back home. We were not able to stay around to find out how well it worked. Then, on the other hand, Jason didn't call to tell me that they were still not getting the pain meds to him. Tomorrow should be a better day, and I hope we are able to get more done, overall. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

February 23, 2014

Nice day today, with an easy start. I was able to get in a little exercise and then came back to the house to help Linda with the girls, and breakfast. Only Stacy and I, along with Gracie, went to see Jason this morning, and one of the first things I did was to check on the dressing change that was to have been done. The doctor had made the change and looks like he did a pretty good job. The big thing with this is that I won't worry about it too much, from here on out. Jason was in pretty good spirits, even though there was a nurse there attempting to put in a new I.V. line. He can only have an I.V. line for a couple of days, and then it has to be changed. Since he didn't get a pick line (a longer term solution for this) this is what will have to be done until he is back to the house. It as determined that attempting a pick line would be difficult since there is too much scar tissue in his existing veins.

Stacy and I stayed for a little over a half hour and then headed back to the house. Our intention was to come back in the late afternoon or early evening, and bring more of the family this time. As it turned out, Jackie did come with us the second visit, and Linda stayed back. She isn't feeling well, and didn't want to subject Jason to needless germs and stuff. Linda is beginning to feel better, so we're hoping it is more of a 24 bug or something like that. Anyway, When we saw Jason the second time (later in the day) he was noticeably better and, (using his words) he thinks that his system has regained a balance that had been disrupted by the surgery. He went for more than 12 hours without some of his medication, and he isn't supposed to miss any of it. Two things out of this... 1) we know we don't want to miss any of his meds again, especially for that long of a period; and, 2) he can tolerate missing some of his meds, though it does get quite uncomfortable.

Stacy and Jackie were having a good time at this later visit, and the three of them had a good conversation, better than I'd seen in several days. Gracie kept coming over to make sure Jason was there and I think that made Jason feel almost as good as seeing the girls. Jason was eating his dinner, and we stayed for the duration of that, so that we left at about an hour later, and came back to the house. Actually we left the hospital and went to the grocery store to pick up some Milk.

Tomorrow is an attempt at getting a little closer to a regular Monday schedule, though school lets out early tomorrow for some reason (teacher work day, or something like that). We should have a much better feel for when Jason will be coming home, once we see the doctors tomorrow. My guess is that he will be back here on Thursday, at the latest. Thank you all, for all the continued prayers, and support. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

February 22, 2014

This morning was a little different, in that we got up and I went to the gym. Actually, I didn't get much of a workout, and only spent some time on a treadmill. Still it felt good to do something a little different and to burn a bunch of calories (600 isn't a lot, but it still felt good). When I came back we all got ready to head over to see Jason, though breakfast was first.

We got over to the hospital, and Jason was being looked at by the doctor and one of the nurses. They were looking at his wounds and apparently Jason had told them that they needed to us the Hydrophera Blue pads, that we have been using for the past year and a half, and the doctor wasn't familiar with them. Actually, Jason had called me and asked me to bring some, so I did. The timing of our arrival was just about spot on, so it all worked out. I explained to the doctor, and the nurse, how the pads worked and how to trim them to the size needed, and everything worked out. I helped a bit, with the placement, and soon, Jason was back the way he wanted to be, and could once again receive visitors... Stacy and Jackie wanted to see their daddy (as did Linda want to see her son).

Funny thing, though, was that Bob Hamer happened to come by while all this was going on, and he stayed until it was over, so that he could also visit with Jason. It was very nice to see Bob and visit and catch up. He left us a copy of the latest of Oliver North's books, HomeFront, and I've already begun reading it. Bob was a collaborator on this one, so his name is on the cover as well. So far, from what I've read, I'd have to say that I think you should consider getting a copy, as it helps to bring to awareness, just what some of these guys are going through, as well as their families.

Tim Kirk also came by, though later in the day, and he stayed for a good while also. Actually, Linda and I left, with the girls to go back home, and Tim remained to visit a little longer. I was happy to see this, as I think Jason enjoys getting visitors. He is progressing as well as could be expected, and with each day we will be seeing more progress. We don't have a date for when he will be back home, though I am guessing it will be probably Tuesday or Wednesday. Thank you, for all the continued prayers, and please continue to pray for him. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, February 21, 2014

February 21, 2014

Today was different, as we got up, Linda and I, and the house was quiet. I went down and Gracie was doing okay, though she wanted to get out side. Linda and I got ready and were soon on our way over to the hospital. Shortly after getting there I went to pick up David and Dylan, at the train station. They rode the train down from Los Angeles, and it was an exciting time for Dylan. He was excited to ride the train; excited to be going to see Grandma and Grandpa; excited to be seeing his Uncle Jason; and, especially excited to see his cousins, Stacy and Jackie. Of course seeing Stacy and Jackie was going to have to wait until we picked them up a little later this afternoon.

Jason is now required to stay on his left side, almost 100% of the time, with only a few moments, throughout the day, where he can lay on his back. It was also decided that a wound vacuum was going to be used, instead of the cream and bandages. We are all still very hopeful that everything is going to be working out, and that besides having to deal with this new situation, everything will be good.

We stayed for lunch, and in fact Linda and I took David and Dylan down to the galley to have lunch (that's what the Navy calls their cafeteria). Dylan thought it was really cool, and we like the prices. I had a nice salad and fish on a bed of rice, with broccoli. Gracie is being a real trooper through all this, and so far has not complained at all. I think she would rather have Jason back, and be at home, but she is learning to adapt.

At about the same time we were to pick up the girls the doctors came in to put the wound vacs on, so I stayed while everyone else went back to the house. I stayed so that I would know exactly what was going on and what to expect, over the next several days (couple of weeks?). It was also a good time to talk with Dr. Salt, the plastics surgeon, and find out what his thoughts were on how things were developing. He was pretty happy with what he was seeing so far, though he did admit he was hoping that he wouldn't have to go with the wound vacs. They are kind of uncomfortable for Jason, and extra work for the staff. The strong positive is that they help to prevent infection, and that is a major concern anytime Jason does something. My guess is that Jason will progress over these next couple of days (the weekend) and that there is a strong chance that on Wednesday he will be headed home. A couple of things need to be in place, and steps are already underway to make that happen. Once everything was done, and David was back at the hospital, I was able to head back to the house. The evening dinner was pizza, and the kids all loved it. David and Dylan had to head back to Los Angeles at 18:20 (6:20pm), and that was pretty much the evening. Linda and I were both feeling kind of tired, so we just relaxed with the girls, watching Wreck It Ralph. This got it to bed time, and we then read them a story, and they were off to slumber land. Next was for Linda and I to just relax a little, and then we were off to our own slumber land. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

February 20, 2014

We got up early this morning, as Jason had to go in for surgery this morning, that was supposed to be about three hours long. We got there at about 08:30 this morning and Linda and I finally got to head back home at about 20:30 (8:30pm), but I jump ahead a bit. Jason was scheduled to go in at about 10:30, and things were actually progressing nicely. After a number of questions being asked, and re-asked,  Jason went into the O.R. at about 11:00. The original plan was to have him back out around 14:00 (2pm) and then get him over to his hospital room, at about 15:00 (3pm). That wasn't what happened. The doctors (there were four different disciplines in the operating room, with Jason) began their work and stepped up and did their work and sometimes overlapped each other's efforts This coordination and overlapping of effort was to help things to run smoothly, but actually caused the surgery to take longer. The others all got their work done and now Plastics was doing their work, and finally their work was done. They finally got out of the operating room again at about 17:30 (5:30pm). After that he had to endure another two hours in the recovery before he was able to finally get to his own room. There were a couple of things that caused the doctors to approach some of the work differently than originally wanted, though that did allow them to get more done. There is one "small" section that they are concerned about and we'll know the status of that in a couple of days. He will be in the hospital for at least this weekend, and possibly most of the rest of the week. After he gets back to the house he will be on bed rest for a number of weeks, and then finally back to his new normal.  Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

February 19, 2014

A bit of a late post tonight, as we ended up going to a movie and it let out a bit later than anticipated. But I guess I'm getting ahead of myself...

Getting up early this morning I was able to get up and dressed before the girls woke up. Linda wasn't feeling real well this morning, so she went back to bed after helping me get the girls up. There was the fast breakfast and I made Stacy's lunch, an then Jason and I were off to take the girls to their respective schools. Fortunately the Child Development Center was open today, though it looked like about half the parking lot is now under construction. I guess that broken water pipe is going to be a pain for a couple of months.

Not too much else went on this morning, other than Jason going to a couple of appointments and getting a few things coordinated. They were kind of personal things so I won't mention them here, just that it took time and it had to get done. We went back to the house after that and I went up to check on Linda. She was sleeping so I left her alone, I kind of felt that she probably needed the sleep.

Later, this afternoon, Linda and I took a drive and went over to Torrey Pines, just to take a look at it, and then over to Target to pick up a few things. Shortly after we got back Jason, Linda and I headed over to Anthony's for a little BBQ, and some nice visiting time, Jason had said he would like to go see the new Robo Cop movie, so we did, and it was a late showing. Problem though was that the only showing was the iMAX showing. This meant that the screen was very large and the sound was going to be LOUD! I told Jason and Linda that I didn't want to go to another iMAX showing of anything, though I did enjoy the movie. I thought the first one was better, but hey, that's just me.

We got home late and Linda needed to decompress from the movie, and I needed to catch up on my email and do the blog. Tomorrow we need to be up early, so that Jason can get over to the hospital by 08:30. His surgery is scheduled to happen around 10:00, though sometimes it can slip. They are saying that it will be a two hour procedure, so I'm expecting it to take about 4 hours. If I'm wrong... Great! Just please keep him and the doctors in your prayers as this is the first surgery Jason has had in over a year, and I believe he is feeling a bit anxious, though he is trying to show calm... and doing a good job of it. I will let everyone know what happens, just as soon as I can provide an update. Thank you, for the continual support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February 18, 2014

A nice day, and an easy start. Actually, the girls slept in a little and I was up and brushing my teeth before they came up the stairs... about 07:00. Linda was up a little while later, and she assisted in getting the girls ready to go, and that was pretty much the start of the day. It didn't take too long for everyone to get ready, with Stacy leading the way. Since Jackie wasn't quite ready to go, and Stacy was, I suggested that we just walk over the her school (less than 1/4 mile away), and Stacy was all for that. It only took about 10 minutes or so, for the round trip, so I was back pretty quick.

Jason and I got in the van, with Jackie, and Linda stayed back to take care of a few things and do some laundry. When we reached the Child Development Center  (CDC) we were greeted with barricades and a few signs indicating that we were to park in a different area. Before we completely got out of the van a woman walked towards us and said the center was closed, and that it would be closed until tomorrow, due to a broken water pipe. There was no water in the center and the teachers had already been sent home. I hope they can get the repairs done, and are ready to open up tomorrow.

Jason goes in to the hospital tomorrow for pre-op admittance. At this point we really don't know if he is going to be staying the night at the hospital, or if he will just go in and then be back out in a short while. My guess is that he will be in and out in a matter of a couple of hours. Then, on Thursday, Jason goes in, and will have the surgery on that day and remain in the hospital for a few days, up to a week.

The rest of the day was spent taking care of a few things and running a few errands. Dinner was chicken that Jason had marinating in the refrigerator, for two days. I cooked it up in a skillet and it was really good. We also had mashed potatoes and Brussels Sprouts. There really wasn't much in the way of left overs. Thank you for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.


Monday, February 17, 2014

February 17, 2014

The girls were up at 06:30 this morning and pushing to get us up out of bed. The down part of this was that Linda wasn't feeling well, and I needed to get Jason over to a Chevy dealer so he could take a look at a truck. Apparently the VA is directing Jason away from the Fords because of the lift mechanism that he needs and it isn't compatible with the Ford he wanted. Anyway, we did find a truck that Jason liked and it does have the compatibility needed, so the paperwork got started. We were gone for a couple of hours and we needed to get back to the house. Linda wasn't feeling well, and she had the girls, who seemed to be full of energy.

Linda and Joselyn worked together to go through the girls clothes and closets, to get a bunch of the clothes and other things, cleaned out. They identified a number of items that are going to be donated, since they are in good shape, yet no longer fit either of the girls. Things like this really show how Linda's presence is going to be valuable, as neither Jason or I are very good at that particular activity. I am really glad to have her here, and so are the girls and Jason.

Tomorrow is going to be a day for getting some errands completed, and for Jason to be able to pick up some items, as well as a required shot. They will probably want to put me through the training one more time before I start doing it at home - at least I would feel more comfortable doing it in their office first. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

February 16, 2014

This morning, at a little before 07:00, we had a couple of guests come in and join us in bed. It was Stacy and Jackie, and we were both grateful that they allowed us to sleep in... at least a little. They are so full of energy and love to be with us, and we are very grateful for them. Actually, it was kind of funny, in that Jason was still asleep when we all made it back down stairs at about 07:30.

The day today, was very relaxed and considering the last couple of days, I'd have to say we kind of needed it. I did get a chance to take the girls to the local park, where they ran and played for about an hour, and Linda rested while this was going on. She feels like she has been working pretty hard these past few weeks, getting things read for us, up in Livermore; and, in fact, she has. I was glad to take the girls out and give both Jason and Linda a little more time to recuperate. We went to the park a little while after breakfast, and just a short while after that we had lunch. I fixed salmon for dinner last night, and with the left over salmon I made a sandwich spread, something I had not done before. I was very happy to see that it worked, and tasted quite good.

The rest of the day was spent just relaxing and kicking back. I made a few phone calls, trying to take care of a few things back at the house, and fortunately we have good friends like Karen and Marilyn to help us out. I also got some information to Trevor (another good friend) so that we can possibly get the van sold. There are just so many things to be concluded and you just really don't think about it until you get into the position of having to move and settle somewhere else. Of course Linda will be heading back up to Livermore next month, so it may be close, but we're still not fully moved down here, yet. Tomorrow should be an interesting day for us, though I hope it doesn't get too busy. The Presidents Day holiday keeps the kids home, so that will be kind of fun, and then we're also heading over to Anthony's for an evening BBQ. In the mean time Jason wants to get out and look at a couple of vehicles, in hopes that it might help make his selection come along a little bit better. So stay tuned for the next exciting adventure and update. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

February 15, 2014

Linda and I went to bed last night, and we were both very tired. I had planned to sleep in until at least 06:30, and maybe even 07:00, but that wasn't going to happen. First it was Jackie, who came up to greet us this morning, at about 05:15. Then a short while later, here comes Stacy, so now we have two little girls in bed with us, full of energy and still very excited about the fact that they're back with Daddy and Grandpa, and NOW, Grandma is here, too! Anyway, we made a couple of attempts to sleep a little more, but then by about 06:00 (maybe a little later) we realized it was just better to get up and get going.

I made oatmeal for breakfast, and it worked out perfect. There were plenty of raisins and the oatmeal that was left in the bad was just the right amount. I didn't have to open the other bag. The girls ate all theirs and so did the rest of us, and soon after we were ready to get dressed for today's event. We were going to the hospital at Balboa Naval Medical, where Gary Sinise was going to be playing, and his foundation was putting on a great event. We had planned on being there at a little after 09:30, but didn't get there until after 10:30, and looking back I think it was beneficial to everyone (in our group). Anthony Netto and Angelica came over to pick up Jason's paramobile, and then we were all off for the event.

We got there a couple hours before it was to start, and that was good, as I didn't have to worry about getting a parking place. We drove in, and because we were on the "list" of guests, we were able to go to the V.I.P. parking area, and this put us at a pretty close distance to the rest of the things going on. Along with Gary, and his crew there was Robert Irvine, celebrity chef and Clint Howard, also Kelly Carlson and her fiance, Dan were there. This was a first for Robert Irvine, with the others having had the opportunity to meet us in the past at other events. Jason and Robert hit it off very well, and Robert had Jason over behind the grill flipping burgers, just a few minutes after meeting each other.

One of the great things that happened was that Jason was able to receive the funds from the October event that took place back up in Livermore. His picture was taken by about 20 cameras, all going off at once, and a few movie cameras as well. I told him he was going to have to get used to that, as he is becoming a real legend and rock star with the media. While at the event we also got to connect up with a few folks that we hadn't seen in a few weeks, including CMDR Laura Ledyard (ret.) and her husband Jessie (who is also retired). I'm not even going to attempt to list everybody we saw, as that would take quite a while, as well as be incomplete. I'm tired now and will forget people. All, I can say is that you should do your best to attend one of these Gary Sinise Foundation events, if the opportunity comes up. They are totally awesome. About the only "down" side to this was that Jason kind of wore himself out (again) and he'll be spending most of the day, tomorrow, staying in bed. Not sure what else will be going on, but I'm sure it will be good. I think Linda and I are going to be attempting to stay relaxed tomorrow, too, though two little girls may have other ideas. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers being sent out our way. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, February 14, 2014

February 14, 2014

Wow! We're back home and now Linda is with us - at least for now. She still has to get back up to the house to take care of a few things, and then perhaps we can finally say for certain, we've moved to San Diego. It was good to see Jason and I think he was happy to see us. As it turned out, the girls had just arrived at the house about 30 minutes before we did. Fortunately Joselyn was there, so that made it a bunch easier for Jason, as well as for the girls. But, again, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Last night we said good bye to a bunch of folks, who have been working with us, on the house and helping us get things ready. We knew we were driving back down to San Diego in the morning, so we wanted to get at least some sleep. Fortunately, Bill and Ruth Buchanan offered to let us sleep in one of their empty beds (all the kids have gone and they're empty-nesters). We go up early and Bill fixed all of us a very nice breakfast. We had a great visit and soon we were out the door, heading south.

The drive down was just about as good as we could have asked for. There was a little traffic and slowing in Los Angeles, and that was expected. Total time to get down here, from Livermore, was almost 8 hours exactly. We would have liked to have been able to stop and visit with David and Miriam, in Los Angeles, but we didn't have much time, and they were already on their way to a weekend get-away with the kids. There will be other opportunities for Linda to see the boys.

Once we arrived we unpacked and it felt good to just stand up and walk around. My left leg was beginning to give me some trouble, as well as my lower back, so I think maybe I should consider not driving more than 8-hours in a day, as long as I am driving the Fusion... ;-) The girls were very happy to see us, especially Linda, as they love their Grandma. This was pretty much the day, except for some playing with the girls and doing Jason's dressing change, the next thing was just doing the blog and going to bed. Tomorrow will be an exciting day, with the Lt. Dan Band playing at the hospital at Balboa, and Jason has already been invited to come early so that have some time to visit. We're looking forward to an exciting time and then maybe an afternoon to relax a little. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

February 12, 2014

You know, when you think about it... The guy who came up with the idea of spelling February, with that first "r" must have also been the same guy who decided knife should be spelled with a "k"...

I spoke with Jason a couple of times today, and he sounded good. The first time was kind of early and he was just getting out of bed. The Marines were coming over to pick him up and take him to his appointments. He sounded pretty good, though I think he would have really rather just stayed in bed. The second time he was up in his kitchen, and fixing something to eat; perhaps it was a late afternoon snack or maybe dinner. Either way, I didn't ask him what he was doing, I was satisfied that he was just doing something that he wanted to do. The one thing he did say, that bothered me, was that the VA wasn't cooperating with him getting a truck.

A number of folks know that Jason likes Ford, and wants a Ford pickup (F250) as his personal ride. Some folks would step back and say, "Why does he need such a big truck?" My response is simply, "I don't care, he wants that truck, so he should be able to get it." The challenge, it seems is that the VA has some input into which vehicle he gets, as they are the ones who approves the adaptive mechanism that is placed on the vehicle. For this truck it is the hand controls and the lift, that allows him to sit behind the wheel and drive. It seems today, the VA let Jason know that they only work with GMC, Chevy and Dodge trucks. I find this to be a little strange so I will be following up on that once we (Linda and I) get back down to San Diego.

A particularly positive bit of news, also learned today from Jason, the girls will be back with him on Friday, instead of on Monday, as originally scheduled. They will be with us through Tuesday, and that is great considering that Jason will be going in to the hospital on Wednesday. It seems like we haven't seen them in such a long time, and we will have all kinds of things to do with them, especially now that Grandma (Linda) will be there with us. Tomorrow we wrap up all our activities here, in Livermore and then Friday morning we take off for San Diego. Thank you, all for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, February 10, 2014

February 10, 2014

Today is a special day/post, in that it is the 900th posting of the blog. I called Jason today, and then later on he called me. We initially talked about how he was doing, and how we (Linda and I) were doing with getting our things together, and then we talked a little about this coming weekend. Linda and I will be heading back down to San Diego on the 14th, (yeah, I know, I really know how to show a lady a great time on Valentines Day) and that will get us there just before the weekend. On Saturday there is going to be a great show at the Hospital, at Balboa, put on by The Gary Sinise Foundation, with the Lt. Dan Band; and we hope that this time Jason will be feeling good enough that we can stay for the entire show. I promised to put some pictures out, from the recent trip we took, so tonight I can do just that. Before I do though, a quick up date... Jason is doing well, and enjoying this time with limited support and help.  Now here are the pictures...











Sunday, February 9, 2014

February 9, 2014

Well, I guess you've all figured out that I am not going to be posting daily, at least not for the next several days. With the moving from our house in Livermore to San Diego I really don't have a bunch of spare time to work on the blog. On top of that I only get to have snap shots of what is going on with Jason. For example, I spoke with him this morning and he sounded great. We talked for a few minutes and then hung up. He isn't doing a bunch of things, just enjoying the time alone, I think.

The move is becoming a bit of a challenge as we have a few days to get everything done, and then we need to get back to San Diego. The biggest challenge we have is; what to do with our two cats. We can't bring them with us, and obviously they can't remain in the house, especially if no one else is here with them. Linda's cat, Candy has been her companion and Pumpkin, my cat just likes to lay around; like Garfield, she even looks like Garfield. We continue to search for a "temporary" home for them, I just hope we can come up with something soon. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, February 7, 2014

February 7, 2014

This is sort of going to be a double post, since I didn't put anything out yesterday.

On Wednesday we were treated to a wonderful experience at Paramount Studios that included a welcome that really you only see at the movies, or at least on a movie set. We first got on buses, with Jason and I riding in the van, behind them and Anthony Netto with Angelica right behind us in his truck. Now this wasn't your everyday regular caravan, it was a California Highway Patrol escorted caravan, with lights and stopped traffic and everything. Heck, even in Anthony's truck, where the paramobiles were, there were red and blue lights flashing (Anthony had set up the lights a few weeks back, and now he got a chance to use them). The officers were great and did a wonderful job of controlling the traffic. Some people proved to be the typical California drivers, as they attempted to jump into the line, but the officers managed to get them out. Fortunately, no tickets were issued, as far as I could tell.

We pulled into the Paramount Studios lot and were given priority parking and then walked over to this black "gate". The gate slid aside, kind of like an opening to a movie, and then there were all these people and a marching band waiting there to greet us. The walk into the garden like area was really fun, with so many people shouting, "Thank you!" and holding signs of welcome. Then we have to go around another wall/gate and we finally see the garden area. The tables are all set and we are given a number of welcomes by several different people, and fortunately all their speeches were short. They had a bunch of different celebrities to greet us and a really nice part was that Jason and I actually know some of them. I think Tom Arnold was the first person I was able to speak with, and I reminded him of where we had met prior (Ames, Iowa, for the Special Olympics, back in 2006). I also saw Kelly Carlson, and Joe Mantegna, both of whom made it a point to come over and give us a hug and say hello. Actually, the rest of the day and into the night Kelly was coming by to make sure we were comfortable and had everything we needed. It was good to see Dan there, with her, as he is a great guy and a Navy Seal to boot. I attempted to get some pictures, and will do my best to get some of them up, over the next several days. Even Bob Hamer was there, and we hadn't seen him in a few months.

There was a special showing of the movie, Forest Gump, and as you might guess, Tom Hanks was even there. The only down part was that he didn't stay very long, and so I didn't get much of a chance to talk with him, or even get an autograph. The movie was fun to watch, and they have remastered it with digital and in watching it I remembered a bunch of the stuff about the movie that made me enjoy it the first time. Once the movie was over we all came out to enjoy a great dinner and have some time to socialize again with the rest of the people and more celebrities. Finally, the day was coming to an end and it was time for the big show and performance by the Lt. Dan Band, with Gary Sinise. Jason was feeling good still, so we went to go see the show, out on the back lot, at Paramount. Getting to the show was another walk through crowds of people and this time we had like a ticker tape effect with all this blown confetti coming down on us. Gary put on a wonderful show and we were able to stay for about eight of the songs, and then Jason was ready to get going. The experience was very positive and both Jason and I had a great time. I think that having Linda there would have made it better, so if there is another show to be invited to I am hoping that she is able to go with us.

Speaking of Linda, tomorrow morning I will be flying up to Livermore to go help her with the work on the house. Once the work is done we will be headed back down here to San Diego and help Jason with the rest of his transition with the Marines, and more immediately with the recovering from his upcoming surgery. I don't know how well I will be able to keep up with the updates on the blog, while up in Livermore, so please accept my apologies, if I should have days without updates. Actually I would really like to get the next two updates in, as it will bring me to the 900 post on this blog. Thank you, for all the continued prayer and support. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

February 4, 2014

Jason has been enjoying a pretty good time with visiting all these great folks. He has been able to socialize and tell some of his favorite jokes (ones I've heard probably a hundred times now) and do things he usually doesn't get a chance to do. The accommodations are good, though we did have to move to a different room, due to the need for a better shower situation. About the only down side to this adventure is that he has not been able to enjoy the rides.

Originally, we were told that there were a few rides that would accommodate his chair, and he should be able to go on. As it turned out (using their words), "Because he has no lower extremities we can safely secure him in the ride." Jason was disappointed, as was I, though you could tell our guide was embarrassed by the development. All of this was over on the California Adventure side, and we found out the the Littlest Mermaid was the only ride that would be available for Jason. Jason accepted this, as he does with most things, so we (we were in a group of 7 plus the guide) continued to go about the park. I did go on one ride, and that was the first ride we attempted - one that Jason really didn't want to go on anyway, and then found out after that, that rides were restricted, at the next ride.

The group walked over to the new Race Track Ride, from the movie Cars, and while Jason and I were waiting there I saw Gary Sinise being escorted through. Since it was his invitation that got us there I called over to him, and he came over to speak with us. He spent several minutes with us talking and then I told him that Jason was not able to go on any of the rides, other than the mermaid one. The security detail guys all looked a little embarrassed and did some fast checking and came back to tell us that the Jungle Cruse would be a ride he could go on. Gary had to get going at this point and his escort told our guide where to meet up with him. So, once the rest of our group came off the next ride, we all walked over to the performance of the "Green Soldiers" (from Toy Story) and met up again with Gary. Next stop, the Jungle Cruse, with Gary Sinise and his escort leading the way. It was kind of cool, actually. Lots of people looking at us and wondering who we were, with some of them recognizing Gary.  Anyway, Jason got on the Jungle Cruse and we had a good time. It was a nice easy ride and about the only one who was experiencing some concern was Gracie, as I don't think she has ever been on water before.

Gary separated from us, at this point, as he was attempting to get with as many of the Wounded Warriors as he could. Our group of seven decided that we needed to get some lunch now, so we went over to the Carnation Restaurant, on Main Street. We had a nice complimentary lunch, courtesy of the Gary Sinise Foundation and Disneyland, and then Jason and I headed back to the hotel. This is where we got a chance to see our "new" room, with a more accommodating shower. Jason immediately laid down and in a few minutes was sound asleep. He puts up a good front, but he is constantly working his back and abdominal muscles, just to be able to sit up in the chair. All of this takes a great deal of energy, and he gets worn down after a few hours. So, he slept for a little over an hour and then woke up. There was one more thing he wanted to be a part of, at the park, so we got up and headed back over to the park. To be fully disclosing here, I had fallen asleep, too, and we only got up because Jason woke up.

The event was the retiring of the colors, in the Town Square, or Main Street Square, or whatever they call it...its right in front close to the entrance. Jason was right up front, and again was sitting with his other buddies and got to socialize more. It was a nice presentation and recognition to all the branches of the service. After this was a special presentation for the Hollywood Salutes Heroes group, at the Lincoln theater. They, the park, shut it down, so that we could have it to ourselves. From here we went to dinner, and then back to the hotel. At this point we came back to the room and Jason was able to take a shower. I was pleased with the wounds, and happy that it didn't look like too much damage had happened. It was a little later in the evening now, so we both pretty much called it a day. It was a good day, and we enjoyed the visit to Disneyland and California Adventure. Jason was scoping out everything he could, to determine how to best enjoy a visit with the girls. About the only thing that I goofed on was my Fitbit. I nearly reached 15,000 steps when I took it off my belt, and then shortly after that I had to take Gracie back out. I think I would have hit that mark had I left it on. Oh, well, next time. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February 3, 2014

Okay, I'm going to be attempting something a little different, since I was not able to post last night I am putting something out this morning. If this works, it will be how I operate for the next few day...

Jason had a good start to the day and we were all ready to go, almost exactly at noon, and that is when I wanted to be headed north, to Anaheim. We had a lite breakfast, and effectively no lunch, so we were both kind of hungry when we arrived, but then I'm getting a little ahead of myself. Anthony Netto arrived right on time and we loaded up the truck and the van and that all went without a hitch. He had bought a new type cover for the two paramobile units he is carrying, and it works great. It is kind of a heavy, almost canvas, cover that we can tie down - very effective. The drive up was good, and much less traffic than anticipated. We wanted to arrive at about 15:00 (3pm) and showed up at13:30 (1:30pm). Because we were so early, and no one else was there, it seemed there was a little confusion, but that got corrected quickly. Disney runs a pretty good organization.

The rest of the group, from Salute to the Heros, by The Gary Sinise Foundation showed up at almost 16:00 (4pm), and we finally were able to go in. It was very similar to the Salute to the Troops welcome with the exception of the fact that we were actually there this time. Jason was in the front of the line and therefore we were also the first into the main ballroom where we could get something to eat. It wasn't a regular meal, but it was some nice fresh fruit and cookies, and something to drink. They went through the greetings and we got to see some familiar faces, including Jason Redman, who has become a good friend of Jason's.

The next stop was for dinner at Bubba Gumps, where everyone seemed to have a great time. We found out there that the next day (today) we will be heading over to Disneyland park and have an executive guide with us. We will be a part of six, so it will be a nice small party and we can get the attention that we just might need. Right now we're getting ready to head down for breakfast, and see about getting this show on the road. Not sure just how much of Disneyland Jason is going to be able to enjoy, but we ready to give it a shot. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

February 2, 2014 - Happy Ground Hog Day!

Not much going on with Jason today, other than the regular dressing change and staying in bed for most of the day. I washed the van today, and it looks pretty good, at least a lot cleaner (glad to have that dog hair out of the van). I wanted to be sure the van was in better shape for our trip up to Los Angeles tomorrow. It is going to be a busy couple of weeks for us, or I should say busy for the next three weeks. I expect things to slow down a bit after the surgery on the 20th.

We did go out for Chinese food tonight, as that is something we haven't done in a long time. The last time I was out on the bike I cam across this restaurant and wanted to try it out, so we did. I told Jason that the Super Bowl was still on (just about the end of the third quarter) so they shouldn't be busy. Besides it was already pretty clear that the Broncos decided to not show up for the game. I don't want to detract from the abilities of the Seahawks, but the Broncos were definitely in self destruct mode. Oh well, so much for a good football game, I believe it turned out the way it was supposed to. Anyway, we had the Chinese food and then came back to the house.

We will be leaving around noon tomorrow for L.A., and then back again on Thursday. I don't know, right now, if I'll be able to do much in the way of updates to the blog, while up there, but I'll try. My main objective is to enjoy the time with Jason, focused on doing something different. Thank you, for all the continued prayer and support. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

February 1, 2014

Jason pretty much stayed in bed today, and I think that was because of all the activity he was involved in yesterday. His spirits remain high and his attitude is strongly positive. Along with all of this the wounds slowly continue to heal. I guess that's the most frustrating aspect of his recovery. Just as it looks like they are about to close, they begin to open again, or worse, the skin ruptures in a new location. Typically these ruptures are small, and only take a couple of weeks to close back up, they just tend to be frustrating. On the overall picture, things are looking better and I am still hopeful that most everything will be closed when he goes back in for surgery, on February 20.

On another front, Linda will be moved down here to San Diego on February 14. I will be going up to help with some of the final packing (she has been doing most of it with the help of many friends), and then driving the two of us back down on Valentines Day. She will be staying with Jason and I, AND the girls at the house here, until Jason's new house is built. Not sure when that is going to happen, but we are hoping that it will be done by the end of this year... maybe a first Christmas in the new house.

Tomorrow is going to be another day of relaxing and staying down, as he wants to be sure he is ready for the Hollywood Salute To The Troops, next week. We go up Monday and come back Thursday, and then shortly after that I will be going up to Livermore. This is all exciting developments for all of us, and especially for me. It will be great to have her back down here and we can be together again, like we're supposed to be. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.